A veneer is a thin moulding, custom-made from porcelain, which is bonded to the front surface of a tooth. Veneers are a quick and effective solution to stained, chipped, misshapen or crooked teeth. They can also be used to cover gaps in teeth where orthodontic treatment may not be suitable.

Veneers are a cosmetic treatment. They cover only the front surface of the tooth and will mimic the size, shape and colour of your teeth, creating a very natural look. A precise shade of porcelain can be chosen to give the right colour to improve a single discoloured tooth or to lighten your front teeth.

What are the benefits of veneers?

Veneers provide a very natural finish. If you are concerned about misshapen, chipped or discoloured teeth, veneers can offer a long-lasting cosmetic solution.

The colour of the porcelain veneer can be selected to match your existing teeth or to make them appear whiter. The porcelain finish also mimics the light-reflecting qualities of natural teeth, helping you achieve a brighter, natural -looking smile.

Porcelain veneers are also more stain resistant and durable than composite bonding, and if looked after properly, can last for many years.

Veneers offer a gentler approach to altering a tooth’s shape or colour than crowns, as only a small amount of enamel has to be removed to fit the veneer. Yet they offer similar strength and very natural looking results.

What are the downsides of having veneers?

Veneers are considered a long-term solution to imperfect teeth, once you’ve had them fitted, it’s an irreversible procedure. It can take a few weeks to get used to the new feel of having dental veneers.

Your dentist will need to change the structure and shape of your teeth to apply the veneers and remove the outer layer of enamel.

In some cases patients can also experience increased sensitivity after having veneers fitted.

So, you need to think through your options carefully and make sure that you choose the right solution for your needs. If you have any questions, concerns or queries, speak to your local Bupa Dental Care dentist.

What are the alternatives to veneers?

Alternative options to veneers are:

  • Composite bonding - bonding is a fast, non-invasive procedure which can usually be completed in a single appointment. A composite resin is attached to the tooth to restore its natural shape and colour.
  • Crowns - a crown is a tooth-shaped cap that’s placed over the entire visible portion of your tooth. A crown will feel and function just like any of your other teeth. And if you choose to have a porcelain. crown, it will be virtually indistinguishable from your other teeth.
  • Orthodontics - fixed or removable braces can be used to straighten misaligned teeth and close gaps. Advances in orthodontics mean that braces can now be virtually invisible.

It’s important to consider all of the options available to you. Your dentist will be able to explain the different processes and advise you about which treatment best suits your individual needs.

How are veneers fitted?

You’ll first have a consultation with your dentist to make sure a veneer is the correct treatment for you. Once this has been agreed, your tooth can be prepared to hold the veneer. This involves taking off a thin layer of the enamel so that the veneer can be attached to your tooth seamlessly, without changing the size of the tooth. You might be given a local anaesthetic as a precaution, but the procedure shouldn't cause you pain.

Your dentist will then take an impression of your mouth so that a bespoke veneer can be created to fit your tooth perfectly. A temporary cover may be placed over your tooth while this is being prepared.

The veneer will then be attached to your tooth and adjusted as necessary, before being permanently secured in place. You'll need to care for your new veneer in the same way you would your other teeth. With proper care, veneers can last for years, but they can be replaced should any damage occur.

If you’d like to know more, speak to your local Bupa Dental Care dentist about veneers.

How do I care for my veneers?

After the procedure, your gums may feel a little sore. This is normal and will settle down after a few days of careful brushing. Veneers are easy to maintain - they simply require the same care as your other teeth. Regular brushing, flossing, dental check-ups and hygienist appointments will help keep your veneers looking good for years.

Find your nearest Bupa Dental Care practice offering veneers and book an appointment.

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Bupa Dental Care is a trading name of Oasis Dental Care Limited. Registered in England and Wales No: 00478127. Registered office: Bupa Dental Care, Vantage Office Park, Old Gloucester Road, Hambrook, Bristol, United Kingdom BS16 1GW.

Oasis Dental Care Limited has a number of trading names including Bupa Dental Care. For a list of all our different trading names please follow this link.